Red teaming

Cybersecurity: Red teaming and its impact on the organization

It is normal in any game for people to wear a different color shirt to represent different teams. Hence, in the same way, in the game of cybersecurity, “RED” is a sign of alertness. Furthermore, this article will help you understand the term Red Teaming. Additionally, we will also elaborate on how this service can help organizations identify and address threats. However, the focus of the current text will be more on cyber threats and how to make infrastructure more secure.

What is Red Teaming?

red teaming
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Red Teaming is a full-scope, multi-layered attack simulation. Hence, “Ethical hacking” is the right term to explain this activity. Therefore. it is a way for independent security teams to test how well an organization would fare in the face of a real attack. The red teaming analysis is done on below three fronts:

Networks, applications, routers, switches, appliances, etc.

Staff, independent contractors, departments, business partners, etc.

Offices, warehouses, substations, data centers, buildings, etc.

6% to 28% of the attacks are conducted with the help of current or former employees of the infected organizations.

 InfoSec Institute

The premise of red teaming is comparable to saying that ‘the best offense is a good defense’. Moreover, this process helps a business remain competitive. Furthermore, it secures business interests by leveraging social engineering and physical, application, and network penetration testing.

The process of red teaming

red teaming:engagement
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During the red team engagement, trained security consultants enact attack scenarios. In the end, this reveals the potential physical, hardware, software, and human vulnerabilities.

The process of red teaming consists of the formation of two teams: The Blue and the Red. The role of the red team is to simulate an attack on the target organization. These could be independent consultants but can also be an internal team. On the other hand, the Blue team is generally an internal team and their job is to defend the attack. However, the objectives of a red team test are to reflect a real-world attack scenario focusing on revealing potential threats to the critical data from the wider business perspective. It is not just confined to a specific subset of assets. Hence, it is a deep dive into the risks and vulnerabilities of the business.

What are some common Red Team tactics?

There is a difference between red teaming and the traditional penetration tests. The red teaming test is wider in scope as compared to the penetration test. The following are some of the ways that the red team assessors check the vulnerabilities.

Email and phone-based social engineering

Phishing is a kind of low hanging fruit which is used by the hacker to achieve their malicious goal. The individuals or the organizations can be prone to attack after little research by the attacker.

Network service exploitation.

Misconfigured or unpatched network devices are prone to hackers attempt to get into the private network. Therefore, this may lead to loss of sensitive information. Sometimes, the hacker also leaves a persistent back door open in case they need access in the future.

Physical facility exploitation

This type of tactic is used when checking physical security. Moreover, people with malicious intent go into the secured premises using such tactics. It may happen that we may allow any external person without a suitable ID to enter into the secured premises using tailgating.

Application layer exploitation

The red team may exploit web application to look into the organization’s network perimeter. Hence, by thinking like an attacker, it can exploit Web application vulnerabilities. In a similair way, this can give an attacker a base from which to execute further attacks.

Benefits of the red teaming to the enterprise

red teaming : Benefits
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1. Identify vulnerabilities in applications and systems

As explained earlier, firms hire a red team to enhance their security configurations. It could be app security in the production, systems, or the entire infrastructure.

Many of the security firms or consultants that offer these services use custom tools and attack methods to find the security holes in the applications and systems.

Moreover, these simulated attacks are customizable which means the firms can devise the scope of these tests. It can target a single mission-critical app. Alongside, these services can also test your processes, workflows, and supplier, partner, and social networks. Red teaming plays a very important role in analyzing security threats to a cloud-based deployment where security is shared between the users and the cloud service providers. More information here.

2. Have a novel way to look at your software and systems

Hiring a red team gives a fresh look to the security of the applications, systems as well as other infrastructure. Since most of the internal testing teams have information on the weak spot but through red teaming, we take a fresh perspective.

3. Understand the impact of a security breach

If done well, a red team exercise can help you identify the full impact of a compromise. Moreover, this may be in terms of financial loss to the firm.

4. Discover weakness in your development and testing processes

A red teaming initiative can help in uncovering the flaws in software development and testing procedures.

5. Test your incident response capabilities through red teaming

A red team exercise offers a good opportunity for firms to prove real-time incident response capabilities. Since both the blue and the red teams are part of the exercise, this can help in knowing how well the firm can sail in event of the storm.

6. Demonstrate security controls, justify security spending

It helps in giving assurance that the infrastructure is secured. Hence, this will also help in justifying the security budget.

7. Increasing awareness through red teaming

With this service, the employees of the firms become more aware. Moreover, awareness creates a sense of emergency because they may start feeling that they can be attacked. This feeling is very crucial for SMEs.


In summary, red teaming is an excellent way of increasing security awareness in any organization. Hence, this could be a beneficial service especially for small and medium enterprise who thinks that they are less prone to attacks. Please read my article on the implementation of cybersecurity for SMEs and how this service proves to be advantageous.

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